Given the exceptional circumstances and the heavy disruption caused by the COVID-19 crisis across the EU, the President of the CPVO has taken the decision to extend deadlines that fall in the period 17 March – 3 May included, until 4 May 2020 for parties to proceedings before the CPVO and the Board of Appeal.

Check our dedicated webpage gathering all important information and CPVO’s decisions concerning COVID-19.


As much of the work of the CPVO is related to technical matters, it has been considered opportune to enhance the CPVO Presidency with technical expertise. Dirk Theobald, the present Head of the Technical Unit, will therefore take on a portfolio with technical matters to support the Presidency as Senior Adviser. Some of his new tasks will also be linked to promoting the EU PVP system.

In order to replace Dirk Theobald as Head of the Technical Unit, a selection procedure was launched, to which Gerhard Schuon was the successful candidate. Gerhard Schuon has been working as the CPVO Quality Audit Service (QAS) team leader for nine years. He will be replaced by Sergio Semon, technical expert specialized in vegetables. The changes will take effect as from 1 February 2018.

Martin Ekvad, CPVO President, says that:

Dirk Theobald has a vast experience in PVP related matters and is a leading expert in the EU and the UPOV world. He will be a great asset to the CPVO Presidency. Gerhard Schuon has set up the EU Quality Audit System in an independent and professional manner and after nine years on the post he knows all there is to know about the technical facilities in the examination offices that we work with, which will be valuable when moving forward. Sergio Semon was one of the first persons employed by the CPVO and knows all the ins and outs of the system. Sergio has also participated successfully in management training to qualify as a manager in the EU staff structure, and has acquired skills that will be very useful for his upcoming duties.

I am convinced that the changes will allow for the three persons concerned to develop in their careers and to ensure that they keep motivated in the years to come. This will be beneficial not only to the individuals but to the CPVO-team as such.”